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Minnesota’s updated wolf plan strengthens wolf conservation

Web posted January 23, 2024
Plan guides DNR’s approach to wolf management

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has finalized an updated wolf management plan that incorporates the diverse views of Minnesotans and will guide the state’s approach to wolf conservation for the next 10 years.

“We’re proud we brought people together to update Minnesota’s wolf plan,” said DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen. “We had great engagement from tribes, state and federal agencies, academia, and groups and individuals interested in wolves.”

The updated plan is available on the DNR’s wolf plan page (mndnr.gov/WolfPlan). This is the first update to Minnesota’s wolf plan since 2001.

The plan includes summary information about Minnesota’s wolf population and the history of wolves in the state. It details the diverse and changing public attitudes about wolves, the legal status of wolves, tribal perspectives on wolves, and ways to support a healthy and resilient wolf population while minimizing conflicts between humans and wolves. The plan also includes a framework for how the state will approach decisions about wolf hunting or trapping if the wolf is delisted federally.

“The DNR is continuing Minnesota’s longstanding commitment to wolf conservation and ensuring that our wolf population remains healthy and stable,” said Kelly Straka, DNR wildlife section manager. "Thank you to everyone who engaged in the planning process. Minnesotans’ involvement has been critical to establishing the comprehensive vision for wolves that is reflected in this plan.”

Six goals in the plan are designed to support Minnesota’s vision for wolves. The goals are to maintain a well-connected and resilient wolf population, collaborate with diverse partners to collectively support wolf plan implementation, minimize and address human-wolf conflicts, inform and engage the public about wolves in Minnesota, conduct research to inform wolf management, and administer the wolf program to fulfill agency responsibilities and the needs of the public and partners.

“The plan reflects the breadth of input received through the process to update the plan,” said Dan Stark, DNR large carnivore specialist. “Information in the plan describes current knowledge of the wolf population, Minnesotans’ attitudes toward wolves, and guides the approach to the future conservation and management of wolves in Minnesota.”

To inform the wolf plan update, the DNR conducted a public opinion survey, consulted with technical experts and tribal staff, and convened a 20-member wolf advisory committee. Advisory committee members represented diverse perspectives including hunting and trapping, wolf advocacy and animal rights, livestock and agriculture, and other interests related to wolf conservation and management. The DNR’s public engagement efforts for the plan update included input meetings, forums, online questionnaires and public review of a draft plan.

More information about the plan update and a full version of the plan is available on the DNR’s wolf plan page (mndnr.gov/WolfPlan).

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